Often times, one of the issues I see at the gym is people attacking weights with improper form. This increases your risk of suffering from acute injuries. Back strain, neck strain, and shoulder impingement injuries are just a few common areas associated with improper form, and trust me, there are many more. STORY TIME!
Back when I lived in New York, I attended Planet Fitness regularly.
(Though personally I don't agree with how they do business, but I'll save that for another blog.)
One time in particular, I witnessed an overweight male in his late teens to lower 20's, lugging around 30lb dumbbells. By doing so, his back was taking more of the impact than his biceps. He was standing and struggling with each rep, while a few D-Bags watched on laughing at him. Now, this was before my Strength & Conditioning days began, but I knew about corrective exercise and have worked with fitness professionals prior.
I approached the young man kindly, after he set the weights down, and introduced myself. "Hey how's it going? I see you working hard over here!" He smiled and replied in a friendly tone, shared his name, and said "I'm trying!", while catching his breath. We both chuckled for a moment. I continue the conversation. "Well showing up is the first step and you're here. Gotta give you respect for it! Listen, I hate to intrude on your workout, but I noticed when you were hitting those bicep curls you swayed a bit, and I personally have made a similar mistake and ended up tweaking my lower back. If you want I could help you out with your form, if not, I completely understand and apologize for interrupting." I was reluctant and worried he'd take offense and see me as some "know it all" but he admitted the weights were a little heavy and he was trying to maximize his gains. That being said, I gave him a few tips about haste and how detrimental it can be to your gains, especially in the beginning of your fitness journey.
My only regret that day was not exchanging contact info and continuing my mentorship at the time. He was extremely grateful for my input. Even as I walked away to continue my shoulder day routine, I saw him utilizing the information I shared with him in that brief moment. He lowered his weight, and focused more on the control of his biceps and breathing techniques. The guys that laughed at him kind of gave me the stank eye as I passed, but it didn't phase me. At the end of the day, if you're 200lbs of muscle, 300lbs with a high fat percentage, or 140lbs looking to gain mass, etc. showing up means we all have a goal to reach, and we're present, and active in doing so. There's no shame in the game. We should be guiding each other and building together, not criticizing one another at the expense of someone's well being.
Moral of the story, take the time, lower the weight, and find your form before tacking on extra plates. Depending on the exercise, you could even go weightless to improve your form in the beginning.
Keep that focus and make those gains my friends!
Let's bring that Vision To Action!